Relevance of the composition of municipal plastic wastes for metallurgical coke production

Sonia Melendi, M.A. Diez, R. Alvarez, C. Barriocanal

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This study is concerned with the effects of the composition of mixed plastic wastes on the thermoplastic properties of coal, the generation of coking pressure and the quality of the resulting cokes in a movable wall oven at semipilot scale. The mixed plastic wastes were selected to cover a wide spectrum in the relative proportions of high- and low-density polyethylenes (HDPE and LDPE), polypropylene (PP), polystyrene (PS) and polyethylene terephthalate (PET). From the results it was deduced that the reduction in Gieseler fluidity in the coal blend is linked to the total amount of polyolefins in the waste. It was also found that these thermoplastics increase the pressure exerted against the wall in the course of the coking process and that coke quality is maintained or even improved. However, when the level of aromatic polymers such PS and PET are increased at the expense of polyolefins, the coking pressure decreases. Thus, the amount of aromatic polymers such as PS and PET in the waste is critical, not only for controlling Gieseler fluidity and coking pressure, but also for avoiding deterioration in coke quality (reactivity towards CO CRI and mechanical strength of the partially-gasified coke CSR). An amount of polyolefins in the waste lower than 65 wt.% for a secure coking pressure is established.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1431-1438
Number of pages8
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2011

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